If you’re looking for an all-in-one lens from the Olympus stable right now you have two choices. The first one is the 12-100 f4 which has been out for a couple of years, and now you have the 12-200 f3.5-6.3.
Lets have a look at the specs of this lens:
Olympus 12-200 f3.5-6.3
Size: 78mm x 100mm
Aperture: f3.5 - f22
Not quite as heavy as the 12-100 f4 but it’s not lightweight either. Has the same filter size, 72mm, but aperture is variable. The 12-100 has a constant f4 and image quality from the lens is superb, there is no other word for it. It’s a little bit cheaper than the 12-100 f4, but then again, not by much (about €100 - €200, depending on where you shop).
So, why should you purchase this lens at all then if the 12-100 is that much better? Well I’ll try to explain why I decided to purchase this lens, and I’m keeping the 12-100 f4. That lens will always be with me.
While I really love the 12-100 f4 every time I used it I was always looking for a little more reach which explain why I normally have a 14-150 lens on at least one of my cameras. So people are now going to say, well if that lens suits you why purchase another lens? Well, this new lens starts at 12mm and not 14mm. That is a bit difference, that is equivalent to 24mm and not 28mm. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. The second point is, the lens goes out to equivalent to 400mm. That is huge a difference.
So, for me, the purchase made sense. The only thing to do now is to see if image quality is up to par. No point having the lens if image quality is poor. And when selecting a lens with this focal range, you have to compromise on something. Lets hope we don’t have to compromise too much on image quality. Since I’m more of a landscape sort of guy, I’ll be using this lens at f8 - f11 most of the time.
Let’s see some test images from this lens:
So, from what I've seen with these test images I think I'm going to like the lens. It's certainly a keeper and the images look very nice at the long end, which is what I want from this lens anyway. I can't fault the wide end presently but I'll have to take some serious images to confirm that or not. The lens is a little expensive but then again, what other choice to you have in the M43 camp for this kind of focal range. Recommended.